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The cloud: rapid adoption and rising levels of attacks

Research just published claims to show that there has been a significant increase in attacks against cloud and on-premises IT systems.

The Spring 2014 cloud security report from Alert Logic, the Houston-based SaaS cloud services provider, says that the increase in cloud attacks is correlated to the growth of cloud adoption in the enterprise.

According to Rahul Bakshi, the firm's director, a growing number of businesses are now storing their critical data in the cloud.


"At the same time, the bad boys seem to be aware of this, and are also pointing their attacks into the cloud," he said.

So why are companies moving to the cloud - despite the rise in the attack volumes?

This is, Bakshi answered, because a growing number of businesses are starting to solve their cloud security issues.

The Alert Logic director went onto say that his company plans to open offices in the UK in the near future - and is also opening its own data centre in the UK (based in Cardiff, Wales).


"This is UK data in a UK data centre, so the PATRIOT Act does not apply," he said, mentioning a concern that many companies have about hosting their data with a US-based cloud service operator.

The USA-PATRIOT (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) Act dates from 2001 and allows the US government and its agencies access to all data held by a US company, even on behalf of its clients and users.

Both the Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have criticised the law as unconstitutional.


Delving into the report reveals that, despite apprehension about security risks, the mass adoption of cloud platforms continues to grow - and with it comes an increase in attacks.

"Overall, the data presented in this edition of the Cloud Security Report indicates that the threats in the cloud are growing in two dimensions: the total number of attacks is increasing, and attacks that were historically directed at on-premises environments are now moving to the cloud," says the analysis.


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